I remember one of the greatest prayers that I could have ever prayed was back in 2006 when I entered my second semester of my first year of undergrad. I sat in my dorm room after being in my dorm room with females who were hiding alcohol in our room prepping for a party. Now if you know anything about dorm life you know that alcohol is strictly prohibited in dorms and our campus was a “dry campus”, so anything short of that was meant for serious disciplinary action and possible arrest and expulsion from the university. If you all know me, I am normally one to follow rules so this had me extremely nervous. Plus I had a full scholarship so I didn’t want to jeopardize that. The hard part about that was I genuinely liked these friends but I knew if I didn’t find new friends I would be heavily influenced by these girls which could be detrimental to my Christian growth which I desired much more, I prayed for friends that would not only be fun but were serious Christians like me and wanted the same things I did in life. This prayer provided relationships that catapulted my Christian growth in so many ways. It gave me the accountability that I needed and decreased the temptation to be “ratchet”.
The quickest way to tell about a person is by the company they keep, people want to be around people who are similar to them in many ways. We also have the will to choose who we spend our time with, Amos 3:3 asks “ how can two walk together unless they agree to do so?”. For me I knew how easy it was to be categorized and judged by the company you keep, i wanted to be seen a certain way and my friends God sent me helped that!
When people come to me saying how can I grow in my Christian walk I ask them “ Are you a MEMBER of a strong church?” This is an indicator of how committed they are to their walk. When people commit to membership this shows how much they are willing to sacrifice to grow spiritually. Another question that I ask is “are you serving on any ministries?” Ministries are a chance for you to work in the church as well as make close relationships with the people in the church. Think about it, how would you get to really know people or how would people get to know you if you don’t commit to ministry or even support them. Attending ministry events and programs allow you to get to know people in a more intimate setting. Major key!
Finally, I would ask them to tell me about their closest friends as well as who they hang out with on a regular basis, describe them. These are the people you spend most of your time with, you greatest influencers. If the description gives an indication that these people are doing more harm than good as far as helping you grow toward your goals they should probably be DROPPED! No sense in holding on to folk who don’t add good to your life! That’s not to say you have to completely cut them off. But you have to realize how much influence they have on you and how detrimental that influence can be. The best way to go about it is to decrease the frequency of communication and slowly the change will occur.
So you wanna grow as a Christian?? Here’s what you do:
- Accept Jesus as your personal savior Acts 4:12, John 1:12, 1 John 1:9, John 14:6, Galatians 3:26
- Join a good church (strong ministries, bible teaching)
- Be committed ( The only true way to measure any growth)
- Join a ministry and get to know people. ( meeting people is a great way to feel connected and build relationship)
- Apply the word to your life and be respect its position in your life. ( Philippians 2:12-13)
- Engage people and activities that will aid in that growth.
- Have a goal in mind! (What do you want to get out of each experience you have, and what can YOU contribute?)
- Don’t give up! (Being a Christian can be difficult at times when we are fighting against it)
You only get out what you put into ANYTHING. So if it’s growth you want you can get it if you put the right effort into it have a great core of friends. It’s not easy but the walk is YOUR walk! It hasn’t been easy for me by a long shot, but it helpful to have solid people by your side.. 😉